Neighborhoods seek historic designation

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Neighborhood Association that includes homeowners on College, Murphree, Walnut, Pine and China streets in Troy voted Monday night to join the efforts of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce’s Downtown Committee to expand the city’s historic district.

College Street is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

John Phil McLaney, local historian and president of the Pike County Historical and Genealogical Society, said the meeting was held at The Emporium and more than half the members of the Neighborhood Association attended along with several new residents of the proposed historic district.

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“The purpose of the meeting was to determine if those residential areas wanted to be included in a new survey for the addition to the historical district,” McLaney said. “The Troy Downtown Committee has proposed a survey of the downtown business area to determine if that area could be included on the Alabama Register of Historic Places.”

McLaney said the survey would be of the exteriors of the downtown businesses.

“Essentially what the survey would determine is if enough of the historical fabric of the exterior of theses structures has been preserved to consider them of historical significance,” McLaney said. “What the Neighborhood Association decided Monday night was that the members would like for the survey to be extended to those residential areas for inclusion in the proposed historic district.”

When the survey is completed and, if the areas were accepted for inclusion on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage, the Troy historic district would include the downtown area and the five-street residential area.

“The Downtown Committee is just starting the initial part of the full survey,” McLaney said. “The committee will seek community involvement in the program. The survey will be of value in determining the best way to go about preserving the historical integrity of the area and encouraging economic development at the same time.”

The Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage is an official listing of buildings, sites, structures, objects and districts worthy of preservation.

Properties that are eligible must be 40 years or older, associated with events of state or local significance, with lives of persons of state or local significance and/or representative of a type, style or period of architecture and/or associated with Alabama’s history or prehistory.

The designation is honorary and carries no restrictions or financial incentives.